Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wind , Freeway , Magpies and Madmen

Hold ON Tight - ELO

Saturday's have a sweet and sour taste for me. It is the end of a training week , the last big session of the week , the toughest session yet it is always satisfying to have done it. This Saturday was no different.

I was all prepared for the ride.Had all my nutrition , bike and gear packed .I got up early and got to the narrows by 5.30am .Still had issues with my gears but they were working.Went to the toilet at the Narrows before the start.A strange guy came out and wasn't too happy I was waiting .Probably had a few mental issues and I wasn't about to aggravate the situation so I didn't say anything . It is quite sad that we unfortunately can't help or reach out to such individuals. I eventually got started on the ride ....with this guy screaming as I rode past .(he had  a bike and cycled down the cycle path and saw me coming and decided to have a few more words ) It got my heat rate up and I just whizzed by. It was fairly cool and I just knuckled down to the long ride.

It was down the freeway. All 70 plus km and then back. Lots more people out there on their aerobars. The wind was everywhere and it was hard to know when it was favourable and when it was against as it kept changing. I did manage to get down to the end in 2.16 not including the stop for the puncture.I had one spare tiube and managed to change the tube and use my cannister. The tyre was under inflated so it was hard going for the next 3 plus hours. I had the puncture 70 muinutes into the ride and there was a piece of glass in the tyre which I could not remove so I was pretty lucky to have managed to ride the next 3.5 hours without another flat.

Two cyclist asked me if I was ok. That was nice.

Got to the end of the freeway. I wish there was more but it is just a footpath /cyclepath that ends in a conjuntion of roads.No parade , no signs , nothing to signify I just rode the most boring bit of cyclepath with winds , some cows , a few strange smells and nothingelse. When you ride it as often as most Perth based triathletes it does get a tad mundane. Atleast I now get a few hallos . That means somebody knows me in all that bit of bitumen I cycle on everyweek. I did see a group at the end and rode off before they did back to Perth .They caught up and we all turned off at Safety Bay Road for the petrol station at Baldivis .I had water and my Bar. I came prepared with a banana , 5 gels, dates and lollies , and gatorade .Over 400 Calories worth of sugar . I had nearly 4 bidons of water as well. My legs were sore from the very start but I still managed to finish. Unfortunately 3 -4 days of running and cycling with little chance to rest was not conducive to recovery. At lakelands before safety bay road , a magpie started swooping down on me.thank god for helmets .It did this for a km .Its magpie nesting season

After the short break , it was back onto the freeway cyclepath and I finished the ride in 4.46 and then it was then a quick change and a run round the Peerth foreshore . Managed 9.5km in 55 minutes. The legs were sore as but otherwise felt good . I had a gel before the run so I think that helped alot.

I was glad that was over and the angry guy wasn't around but I was beginning to wonder who was mad. My hair was wild , I was unshaven and burnt , tired and not thinking about much other than a good lie down.

JJ at Caversham Wildlife Park
 But the afternoon was spent with JJ at the Caversham Wildlife Park looking at Koalas and Kangaroos and Eagles.There is no peace for the wicked or anyone trying to juggle everything at once.I must say I did sleep very well that night .

Hard Week

After Tuesdays hard ride my legs were very much spent and I opted to rest in the morning and run at Lunch time . I  did a 1 hr session with 6 x 1km at threshold running around the river .It was a fairly warm day and managed to run about 10.5 km . I swam in the evening and we did the usual warm up and then a set totalling 2.5 km

On Thursday , I got up before 5 am but it was raining so I just stayed in bed till about 5.30 am and decided it was OK to ride .But about 20 minutes into the ride it started to rain and I just had to continue. I rode to Nedlands and did a single loop .There were only 4-5 cyclist about . I just did my high cadence ride  and then headed to Tiger Lily's where the few who showed up for transitions practice that morning were having breakfast.

I had a close shave on the way to Nedlands with a Ute towing a trailer squeezing me off the road .Luckily there was a driveway and I managed to turn in and onto a pavement although the vehicle clipped my handlebars. The guy didn't even see me and there was no reason for him to deviate from his line of direction instead of moving even closer to the kerbside.

Well lesson learnt , just try as much as possible to be in their line of sight.

I rode home without any further incident thankfully .Managed only 54km .

On Friday I swam in the morning and again did about 2.4 km . It was warmer swimming in the morning than in the evening. I then did a run in the evening ,I did 14.5 km over 1.25. It was an easy run and managed a steady pace of around 5.40 minutes per km. It was a windy evening and I ran to Matilda Bay and saw lots of Kite surfers  kite surfing around the river from Matilda bay. I then ran back to the office along the river. My legs were pretty sore by now . I was not looking forward to the ride tomorrow as I knew my legs were pretty fatigued by the last few days of training.

Terry Tyzacks Pool , Inglewood

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back In the Saddle

After the unplanned absence from training for a whole 4 days I started back on Monday with a revised run plan. The weekend was not a whole waste .I did all the things I do not get to do when I am training.First and foremost I rested .I makes an amazing difference to me. I got antibiotics and lots which really helped . I slept in on Saturday for the first time in months. But I did have an AGM to attend for the Ethnic Disability Advocacy centre which Iam acting President till the AGM . It went off well and I was glad I was not cycling down the freeway and then rushing to the meeting .

I dropped by Tony's place after the AGM and then went home and took Jonathan to the pool for a few hours and ran into Denise and Deb Kirkham both from North Coast .

I was contemplating riding on Sunday but the spirit was strong but the flesh was weak.I decided to just take it easy for another day.I was still wheezing and thought it would not help now if I got worse.

I spent the rest of the day at Whiteman park with Jonathan which was a really nice day but there were lots of flies about. It is summer when you know the flies are out in force.

I swam in the evening and ran at lunch time and after work .i did a 54 minute run and a 40 minute run respectively clocking 17.4 km I went a little harder at lunch time and ran round Kings Park and then to UWA and then back a long the river.I managed to keep the pace to just over 5.10  per km for the 10 km and felt good despite the difficulty breathing. After work I ran over the narrows bridge and did 7km in about 40 minutes , a little slower .

Went to the pool after the run and did my session with a PB as i did not want to get my legs any more fatigued. We did the usual warm up with fins and then some drills and then a 1400m set of 400m, 2 x 200m , 4x 100m and 4 x 50m. It was pretty good set and I stayed at the back . Got lapped by the front group but I was tired by the end of the session. Just need the lungs to get stronger after the flu and I should be fine.

Have had far too many bouts of flu this winter compared to just the one last year . Fortunately the last bout wasn't too severe and feel alot better now.

Heading to the pointy end of the training and my last hard week . Will try and make the best of the training session. Feeling a lot more relaxed about the training and comfortable. In the scheme of life , I am ahead when I get out of bed and can spend a couple of hours training but having some down time has worked wonders too. I used to get very anxious when I missed sessions as though a programme was a treasure map to Ironman Nirvana . It never is, there are too many variations in factors that can make or break the day . Training to the race conditions as best as I can  and just getting into a routine are probably more critical to race preparation. I plan to get my nutrition sorted out and just stick to a regime.

Tuesday as usual was the last hard session in the 3 week cycle and for everyone else at exceed it was an easy week with a ride round the river . There was just Michelle and me . i got there before 5.30 am and off we went .Five laps of just over 10kms of the same road with all the undulations. I managed to keep the pace up and at the end my garmin indicated an average of 32.8 kph with the ride out so it was about a km slower in pace than last week. But there was just the two of us . On lap 4 we passed a guy on a mountain bike who was pedaling with a very high cadence and then a km later he passed us in our carbon bikes .I managed to catch him just as he was turning off our route towards the city.  Michelle mentioned how she was looking forward to the easy week but I can't say I am exhausted as I had a break from training with the flu .It was good to be back training  and it was a good effort given how tired my legs were from the run the day before.

I did have a few mechanical issues at the start as my gears were not shifting as well . The bike gets serviced in a few weeks in preparation for Busso. Starting to check the gear including the zipps . The tires will need to be changed  as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Training Hiccups

This is the second week of a 3 week cycle .I have not been able to do a long run but I hope to make it up with a few shorter runs . I think if I keep up the volume overall it will help . It has just been difficult to squeeze so much training into a busy week.I have lots of work on and will miss a swim session this week because of my work schedule.

On a sadder note , Ross told me at swim training yesterday , jeremy got hit by a car last Tuesday evening as he rode home.The car apparently just pulled out without checking and got him . He has the usual scratches and skin loss and a broken leg.( Since writing this in the blog I was advised that it was not a  broken lg and he is hopeful about still getting to the startline ) . It always worries me when I am on the road that one second of inattention by a driver can cost me alot.

I hope to be able to catch up with him soon and hope he has a speedy recovery.

Yesterday I did a run in the afternoon and then went to the swim session in the evening .It was a good session and we did about 2.3km with 700 m of warm up and drills and then the main set was 50m , 150, 250 x 3 , 150 x 2 , 50 and followed by a cooldown of 300m. It wasn't too bad and I managed to stay with one of the swimmers in my lane as the girls just surged ahead but they did have flippers .Not that it would have made a difference.the hardest bit was swimming with bands.My legs just went straight to the floor. Ross said its because Iam from Singapore. Not very encouraging Coach ? So much for the encouraging and nurturing coach I have...LOL .

This morning , without the long Monday run , I managed a reasonable nights sleep and got to the city by 5.10 and rode to Nedlands.Michelle was the only one there and so we started out 1.5hrs session immediately. We rode pretty well keeping the rhythm and taking turns in front.In lap 4 Joe joined us and it was a little harder. I found the last lap hard but kept up my turn.There were more riders about so overtaking was just more work.
Ended up having an average of 33.8kph with the ride out to Nedlands so I know I worked hard. I calculated that my average speed for the 53 km session was 36kph . With the short climbs and  cyclist and council watering truck to contend with .So I was happy with that but my legs were a little jelly like for the day.
The rest of the group did a 20km time trial with Kenty doing a PB 27 minutes to be the fastest in the group.

Met up with everyone for breakfast and then it was off to work.

On a completely different note , I have watched 2 great video clips of Ironman Kona , one of Macca winning and the other Maccas and specialized summary of his preparation for the race.( all from you tube)

Unfortunately I have skipped training for a few days as I have come down with a cold or flu again.So  I will juggle my training around a bit but I don't want it to get worse. I am confident I will get over it quickly enough.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

PICTURES Over The Past Few Weeks

Cottesloe after a Sunday swim in September

Coffee and Muffin at John Street Cafe, Cottesloe.

The bottom of Narrows Bridge looking out to Perth City and the start of my Freeway bike rides

Sun setting after the First North Coast Aquathon for the season

Talking to the Members 
North Coast Tri Club Information Evening , 16 October 2010.(picture by Dennis Gump)

Kamikaze Butterflies and the Long Ride

Mt Henry Bridge

I am glad its Sunday .Its a rest day and my body needs it.Its been a busy week work , training and otherwise.

I had my Friday easy run in the evening and watched the aquathon and the spectacular sunset.The ocean was calm and great for an evening race. I got the bike ready for the long ride down the freeway . I do get a little too familiar with these rides and preparation tends to suffer. Didn't pump up the wheels as they looked firm enough. for fuel I had 4 gels , a concentrate of Gatorade 6 scoops worth, dates and jelly beans , 1 fruit bar and a banana with 2 bidons and my aerobar mounted water container.

That was about 2 litres of water and  420 to 480g of carbohydrates which should be enough.

Got up late and started off from the narrows after 6.30am .The wind was already blustering about and I was averaging just under 30 till Mt Henry Bridge.I could not get my HR monitor to work so I stopped my garmin but that did not seem to fix the problem. Hence two maps below. The ride down was great and I averaged about 33.8kph to the end of the freeway bike path with most of a tailwind. It was the ride back that was hard.It did not relent for the whole way back .I had a detour to the Caltex station on Safety Bay road and had another two bidons of  water and had my fruit bar and a short rest watching the weird people at the station. There were heavily tattooed guys , biker characters , a driver with a stretch hummer .It was a busy intersection of people travelling south or coming back into Perth.

I had also passed lots of cyclist riding I believe for make a wish and they blocked  the whole cycle path so it was a little hard going getting pass a stream of cyclist . As I headed back , the winds would from time to time become gusts and I could feel my bike move across. It was on the way back when a orange /black butterfly came tumbling straight into me and it looked like it had no control over the gust of wind carrying it like a car rolling many times and then splat . Its gone. I am glad I am not a butterfly on the cycle path just a crazy cyclist.
At that point I was seriously contemplating why I was cycling in this headwind .It was hard work to keep focus.

I got back to the narrows in pretty good shape . I actually managed to keep up with a cyclist from canning bridge and then passed him as he hung on to me till the narrows. But the legs felt like jelly.As I forgot my running shoes , I had to drive home and then do the run .It was already noon and warm. I had not had anything to eat or drink and unfortunately about 3 km into the run got really lightheaded . Managed to jog back slowly and get some food into me quickly but didn't do an hour easy run. Lesson learnt , keep eating even after the ride. I was starving by the time I got home.

I had a short break and nap before getting ready for the NCTC Info night . It was a great afternoon and hopefully the new members got something out from the session.

Run  54 km or 5 hrs
cycle: 280km or 9.15 hrs
swim ; 6.8 km or 3 hrs

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The hard week

I wanted to be as current as I could with my blog but as the training load increased and work has made it difficult.

Having  been through the build up to an Ironman I know what to expect from the programme .The long runs have built up to 2 hrs and the Tuesday ride is now 1.5 hrs hard at threshold.I did my long run on Sunday evening as it gives me time to recover on Monday.I did a straight swim session for 40 minutes and did not swim with the squad in the evening.

I had a North Coast Meeting in the evening but could not make it .

Tuesday is always the hard day with a hard cycle session.i managed to get to Nedlands by 5.30am and started the session with Michelle and Jeremy. Kept up and took my turn for the whole time.Michelle was tiring and hung on which was unusual for her. I felt reasonably comfortable and strong .we averaged 34.5kph with my ride to Nedlands included so we were riding a bit faster than 34.5kph.

I managed approximately 68km .It was a good mornings work and gave me some confidence that my cycling is improving .

Wednesday was harder as I was still feeling the effects of Tuesdays ride and decided to double up my training in the afternoon.I did my interval run of 6 x 1km at threshold and managed approximately 15km in 1.20hr.I then did the squad swim session..Did 2.5km for the session.

Thursday I decided to ride to Birwood and see if i could catch the exceed riders .they were gone but I caught up with them a few minutes later and they were doing hill repeats and so I joined them .I was doing a high  cadence ride and it was hard spinning up the inclines with everyone in their big chain ring.My legs were smashed after the session even though that wasn't the intent.It is to build the aerobic system without tiring the legs. Again did about 65km with the ride home.

Friday , did my swim in the morning with speed work and enjoyed the session. managed only 2.3 km In the evening I did an 1.05 run along the coast and watched the NCTC Aquathon. It has been a hard week with the long ride on Saturday.

With many other commitments my time management has had to be spot on .

Finally , on a bumper sticker I saw on a car it said " Please Lord , help me become the person my dog thinks I am"

I thought about it and an an apt variation for me would be " Please Lord help me be the triathlete I want to be"

Sunday, October 10, 2010


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WHILST MY MAIN COMPUTER has crashed , the week has been an easy one as far as training goes .I am waiting for a new computer and hopefully by the end of the week I will it all set up and ready .Hence pictures I have taken have not been loaded on my blog.

I have continued with training but it has all been light accept for the swimming.which is as usual.

In brief , I had an easy 1.15 run on Monday with no swim as I swam on Sunday .Did a 11.60km run very slow. Then on Tuesday rode around the river and on Wednesday swam in the morning and then did my run in the evening with 12 x 30 sec efforts in the 1.05 run..On Thursday I rode around the river again but from home and cycled home after work as well. Friday  I ran an hour easy at lunch time and then had my swim training .The lunch time run was hot but otherwise a good easy run.

On Saturday , I again rode from home round the river.Tony had a puncture and returned early and we continued till I lost the group and then jumped on the CRT group and rode till Mt Henry Bridge and then back to Claremont before meeting up with everyone and heading to Subiaco .Had coffee and a muffin before cycling home.It was pretty warm especially with my long sleeve cycling jersey.

It was a rush to get to Sorrento to marshall the Sorento challenge a 1.2 km swim, 7km paddle and 7km run.
It was a great day for a race ,perfect water conditions and no wind but the run was warm..I got a bit of sunburn just standing near the turnaround for the run course.

The hard week starts next . Today I watched the Ironman Championship in Kona . Great Inspiration and well done to Chris McCormack and Miranda Carfrae and everyone who got to the big dance in Kona.  

Run : 3.20 or 34 km
bike: 7.5 hrs or 200km
swim: 2.15 or 5.2km

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Spring Day

Sunday 4 October 2010 

I felt pretty rested after yesterdays hard session. Whilst Sunday is a rest day , I did go for a swim at the Cott with tony.It was a beautiful day .Clear skies , no wind , a slight swell and lots of stingers ...but we did not know that till we got in.It was quite cold as well. I did feel more comfortable in the sea and managed to get to OBH without zig zagging .We did swim a bit further out to avoid the swell.We then continued on to the Blue Duck Cafe and then hit the stingers clustering right in the sea off the Blue Duck Cafe. Exactly where they were last week. We then swam back with lots of discomfort around the face and ears where I got most of the stingers.It would have been a 1.5-1.7km swim in about 45 mins.

Got changed and initially went to John Street Cafe for coffee and muffins but service was pretty bad ie. no one took our order so we went to Georges in City beach and met up with Trevor .The rest of the day was just spent hanging around the house with the kids and going with Jonathan to the Park . Looking forward to the easy week .Ross sent a short message with the programme for October.

" John,  
You know the drill, going shorter this year and hopefully fresher for you. Keep at it .
PS You probably do not know how much the others talk about you and the way you have improved over the years. Sometimes people do not want to say it to your face but they are all very impressed with what you have achieved. Just thought you would want to know."
It is nice to know and its all about staying the distance.Most of all , I enjoy the sessions with the squad it makes all the training more enjoyable.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Saturdays ride is always my toughest training day . Today was no different . It was to be a 4 hr ride at sub threshold and run off the bike.

Again it was the AFL Finals today after the draw last week.I had a late start ,starting at 6.20am .I was feeling alot better than last week although a half hour into the ride my HR was still pretty low .I was hovering around 130-135 and needed to be at 140-45. That was a real struggle for the rest of the ride.About 25km into the ride ,Jay came up and joined me.he was only riding 90km and I rode with him for about 40 mins before he turned around.We were doing a good pace and  I thought I would be able to do a good average speed.But as I continued down the freeway bike track, the headwind just got worse and it was a struggle.By the 60km mark I was riding at an average 29.5 kph.After the turn around it improved and I was able to get my average speed up to 32.4 kph .It was hard and I could not get my HR up much.There wasn't too many cyclist out and several inline skaters about.

I managed to complete the ride in 3.51 as my return speed was faster than the ride down because of the effect of the headwind going down. I did a 30 min run off the bike and the legs felt good although they were pretty tired and hurting in the last hour of the ride.It was good to be off the bike.

It was a hard session and I was pretty spent for the rest of the day.Had lunch at IKEA and was dozing off .
At least next week is an easy week before the hard work starts. Ross sent the October programme and it goes up a notch .

Bike : 280km  or approx. 9.5hours
Run : 4.15 or 45 km
swim : 2.15 hrs
total: 15.50

The meat and potatoes programme

It has been a busy and tiring week .With work , family and training i have been a little too tired to blog for the past 5 days. Apologies.

Training has been good.Monday the 27 September was a public holiday so i deviated from the training programe of Ross and did an easy ride round the river with Tony , Keith , Tim and Trevor. I did my swim on Sunday and my long run as well . I reasoned that as long as I have over 24 hours rest between my Saturday ride and long ride I am fine.It gives me a good recovery period for Tuesdays hard session.This week was a rest week fro the rest of the group so there was only 3 of us doing a hard ride .I stuck behind Alistair and managed a34kph average with my slow ride out to nedlands .It was easier as I just had to stay behind Alistair but he was going harder than my usual group.Michelle was not well and did not show. Jeremy was ill and he rode. I managed to stay with Alistair for the whole hour.Tony was doing laps in Nedlands but I did not see him.

Met the rest of the group at Tiger Lily's for breakfast.

Wednesday ,  I did my running in the morning but misread the programe and did the 1.15 session with 2 x 20 min at thresshold.should have been 20 minutes at medium pace.In the evening ,returned to the Inglewood pool for the first time after the shutdown . It was nice and warm.. Did  a 2.6km session. Felt strong and managed to keep up in lane one.

On Thursday , the weather had changed and it was overcast , cool and drizzling. .I set off on my own to ride round the river and do 5 x 10m efforts.unfortunately I found it hard to get my HR up and in Cottesloe I got a puncture .a first on the road since October last year. I manage to change the tube but could not pump up the tyre .Eventually a cyclist came to my rescue and gave me his gas cylinder .I managed to ride round Fremantle and back to the city without another puncture. I then rode home in the evening makingit a ride of just under 70km


Friday , was the first Aquathon for the North Coast Tri Club.I therefore had to do my swim session in the was a 2.7km session.

warm up
200m PB
200 free and 100 medley x 2

50 chicken wings, 50m finger drag and 50 free x 4  did 2)

main session

200 free ,150 free , 100 medley and 50 x3 at various paces.

cool down
kick and free 100 m.

The whole group is back in the pool. As the office was having a staff meeting and lunch I finished work a little earlier and had a nice barberque lunch.I got up to the Sorento Life saving Club where we have our Aquathon series..I did a 1hour run before the race started and it was a beautiful Perth day with lots of people about walking, cycling and on the beach. It was a bit blustery at times. helped out with the time recording for the race.It was quite a windy day and the race was a 400m swim and 3.2 km run.the water was  probably cold and there were stingers about. everyone got through safely. lots of first timers as well. there was 38 starters.

Got a sausage roll and then it was off home to prepare for Saturdays Ride.